Have you ever been a victim of someone accessing valuable the from your account? If you have, most likely it was because your password just wasn’t strong enough. These days passwords can be needed for just about everything from accessing vital information in your bank account to trivial things like do your laundry, and having a poor quality password can cause you a lot of problems.
Here are our top tips for keeping your passwords safe to use:
1. Never use the same password more than once!
Surprisingly people are still doing this. It is incredibly dangerous and can easily ruin all your online accounts. Always have a different password, don’t even consider it if it’s even moderately similar. It will take you longer to think about but it is worth removing the risk.
2. Keep it at least eight characters long.
Longer passwords increase the safety of your account. Every extra character adds more difficulty to your passwords. Many online services require you to have a password at least eight characters long and will not allow you to proceed until you do so.
3. Keep your phone safe too.
Phones have a variety of options to prevent people accessing them and they are worth exploring. Many may be familiar with using a pin but you can also draw complex patterns too. Very recently some phones even introduced fingerprint recognition, meaning it would be impossible to access your phone unless they were quite literally your identical twin!
4. Make that password as complicated as possible.
Passwords don’t always have to literally words. They can include a large variety of symbols and numbers (though some online services may not permit some symbols). Pretty much any symbol on your keyboard should be accepted and these should be used in conjunction with each other in a random order if possible.
A password like tH1s7$.Go0D? uses both uppercase and lower case letters, numbers, and other symbols, as well as being over eight letter as mentioned previously. It is recommended that in order to make your password memorable, think of a good word or phrase you won’t forget and then complicate it with a range of different symbols, which brings us on to our next tip.
5. It needs to be memorable to you but difficult for others.
Passwords don’t need to be facts about you or your life, in fact, that can also be dangerous. Don’t make a password based on the name of your child or pet or your partners birthday as people who know you can guess these, instead, think more about interests. Where does your mind sometimes take you when you have a moment to think for yourself? Think of a subject and create a password around a particular aspect or word related to it. The more detached it is from your everyday life the better.
6. Don’t become a victim of phishing.
Times will come where you receive suspicious emails supposedly from a website you may have an account on asking you to log in or change your password. Have a good look at these emails before acting on them because if you didn’t request a change of password, chances are it’s fake. Look at the email address of the user, does it look authentic to you? Look at the text, wording, and design, does it look like it belongs to the company or institution it claims to be from? If not, forward the email to the company at an email address you are sure belongs to them and ask them to confirm if it is a fake or not.
7. Password managers.
If you have a lot of passwords for different things, chances are you have them all written down and stored somewhere. While it may be good that you have different passwords, how safe are they when they are all kept together? All it takes is one person to get hold of where they are being stored and they have everything. But don’t worry, there are many password applications out there that are great for storing your password for you either on your phone or computer. They are usually impenetrable from hackers and require only one complicated password.